Winery: Brother and sister Andrea and Francesca Sperone are the 4th generation of the winemaking Sperone family. With 75 acres of vineyards in Piedmont, the family has a built a reputation for crafting “affordable premium wines”. The Franco Serra brand is intended to provide “provides everyone with the opportunity to drink thoughtfully crafted, distinctive wines from Italy’s most renowned region”.
Winemaking: Vineyards are certified sustainable. Grapes are hand harvested, followed by 10 days of maceration and two weeks of fermentation in stainless steel at 75°F. Aged for 3 months in the bottle before release.
Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of cherry and a hint of floral. Cherry, black pepper and anise are framed by bright acidity and smooth, soft tannins. Cherry and spice return on the dry finish. Straightforward, a lovely glugable sip with pizza and pastas. [It was fantastic with potato, smoked scamorza, brie and rosemary pizza.]
Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Pairs well with hearty Italian fare and spicy dishes.
Barbera d’Asti DOCG
Bottled by TE.NE. S.P.A.
Winery: Located in Lombardy, northern Italy, Cantina di Casteggio is a cooperative that was established in 1907 by a 100 grape-growers. Their goal was to create a consolidated winemaking center that could represent the entire group of growers. In 2008, they merged with another cooperative, Cantina di Broni, which added 85 more growers and 25 additional acres of vines, therefore increasing production capabilities.
Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from 15+ year old vines growing in calcareous and clay soils. Aged in stainless steel tanks.
Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with aromas of stewed fruit and a trace of funk. Super fruity with concentrated red cherry, raspberry, red currant, plum and blackberry framed by food friendly acidity and silky tannins. Black cherry lingers between each sip. Friendly and versatile at the table.
Oltrepo’ Pavese DOC
Bottled by Cantina di Casteggio
Enjoy now thru 2018
Brand: Gran Passione is a label of the Botter family, who since 1928 have been producing wines under environmentally friendly practices. Today the company is managed by the family’s third generation, with a “multi-territorial approach that spans the whole of Italy”, focusing on native vines and organic viticulture. Gran Passione sets out to express the passion, devotion and tradition of vine growers.
Tasting Notes: Bright ruby red in colour with aromas of strawberry, cherry and wildflowers. Light and fruity with cherry, strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate and a shake of white pepper framed by fresh acidity. A streak of red current shines bright on the tart, fruity finish, keeping you reaching for more. Easy going, friendly and made for food, fantastic with a wide variety of dishes.
Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Rich dishes that will complement the structure of the wine, hearty stews, pastas in red sauce, and traditional Piedmont cuisines, such as gnolotti piemontesi, meat and herb filled dumplings served with fresh sage fried in butter and topped with Parmigiano Reggiano.
Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG
Bottled by Al668
$13 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2019
Sample submitted for review purpose.
Winery: Produttori di Govone is a community of grape growers founded in 1957 by Giovanni Dalmasso with a mission to unify and create great wines. Today the cooperative consists of 250 members and 270 hectares. Blending tradition with modernity, they are pursuing organic viticulture; currently they have 5 hectares that are farmed organically.
Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with engaging aromas of dark berries, pink pepper and a trace of sandalwood. Ripe red berries are given a drizzle of caramel and balanced by bright acidity and soft tannins. Finishing dry and spicy, keeping you reaching for more. Straightforward and a versatile companion at the table.
Pairing Suggestion from Astor Wines: Enjoy this with cured meats, cheeses, briny olives, tomato sauce, sweet Italian sausage and arugula.
Barbera d’Alba DOC
Estate Bottled by Produttori di Govone
Estate: Descending from more than 7 generations of wine growers, Michele Chiarlo began producing wine in 1956 with a philosophy of only using indigenous grapes. He was a pioneering force in establishing a market for the fine wines of Piedmont. Always an innovator, he was one of the first producers to use methods such as limiting yields and decreasing maceration time in order to create a soft, more traditional style of Barolo. With 148 estate acres and an additional 50 acres, he has achieved ownership of the most acclaimed and prestigious vineyards in Piedmont, from Barbera to Barolo to Barbaresco. Still very active in the estate, Michele’s son Stefano now overseas all of the winemaking and continues the estate’s title as one of the leaders in Barolo and Barbera wines. There are offerings for every price point and appetite, from $10 to $200.
Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from vineyards in the southern area of the Asti province, especially in the hills around Nizza Monferrato. Aged in large French oak casks for 8 months.
Tasting Notes: Transparent garnet in colour with a hint of sage, dusty earth and floral aromas. An herbaceous streak illuminates tart blackberry and cherry flavours. Silky tannins and clean minerals gloss the clean, fruit finish. Tart, but balanced, this a fantastic expression of food friendly, versatile Barbera.
Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Pairs well with a wide range of dishes: chicken scallopini with sage and wild mushrooms, farfalle pasta with pork sausage and broccoli rabe and grilled or roasted red meats.
Barbera d’Asti Superiore
Bottled by Michele Chiarlo
Rated 88 points by Wine Enthusiast